Charlize Theron: ‘Monster’ financiers wanted a ‘hot lesbian movie’

Theron won an Oscar for her role as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Patty Jenkins’ debut feature film, partly because she denied looking “fuckable” on screen.

Charlize Theron had to slay a bad idea for Monster.

Theron won an Oscar for her portrayal of Aileen Wuornos, a Florida sex worker-turned-serial killer, in Patty Jenkins’ debut feature film in 2003, but the film’s financiers apparently had a very different film in mind than Theron’s dark, no-holds-barred approach to the Role.

Theron told Harper’s Bazaar that some “Monster” financiers wanted “a hot lesbian movie starring me and Christina Ricci,” a far cry from what the movie ended up being. Ricci played Selby Wall, Wuornos’ semi-fictionalized lover.

Theron founded her production company Denver & Delilah in part to protect director Jenkins’ vision and also to have control over her makeup and wardrobe. Theron’s drastic transformation into the murderess Wuornos earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress, with Theron producing the critically acclaimed “Bombshell” and “Mindhunter,” among others.

“There’s a natural struggle within me to want to create environments that feel like the things I would have wanted 30 years ago when I started,” Theron said. “Having absolutely no control over what you wear is a big thing that has really annoyed me for years. Having someone make you almost have a fitting in front of them – stuff like that is really demeaning.”

The ‘Old Guard’ actress continued, ‘When I started there was no conversation about it. It was like, ‘This is what you wear.’ And I remember one movie in particular, this male director, who just kept pulling me in, fitting after fitting after fitting after… And it was just so obvious that it had to do with my sexuality and how fuckable it made me in that could make a movie. And when I started, that was just the norm.”

“Monster” director Jenkins previously told IndieWire that she was “pretty confident it would never get made,” let alone win an Oscar.

“It’s rare that a character film is easy to fund, but it can be funded,” Jenkins said at the time. “I get very angry with women who play damaged characters but don’t look damaged.”

And for Jenkins, Theron was the only actress for the role. “She’s so beautiful in a way that she doesn’t need to protect her beauty,” Jenkins said. “Few would have the courage to walk that line and take humanity there – [she is] the only person I ever wanted to be in the movie.”

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Lindsay Lowe

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